On Friday, PJ and I watched Harmony and Me on Netflix for Wii. This was my first time watching a movie through Wii, and I thought it worked really well. Soon, there will no longer be a need for DVDs!
Harmony and Me stars Justin Rice as Harmony, a barely employed musician whose girlfriend has recently broken up with him. This relatively short film — it’s just a little over an hour long, follows Harmony as he tries to recover from this heartbreak. As Harmony keeps telling everyone, she’s still breaking his heart, since she hasn’t finished the job yet.
Here’s the trailer:
I love mumblecore as a genre, and we initially started watching this movie in part because we thought it was a mumblecore movie, but it really isn’t. While the film clearly borrows from the techniques of mumblecore — the documentary realness of the cinematography, the dialogue, and the plot — it is more heavily plotted than the primary examples of that genre.
Overall, I really liked this movie a lot. Justin Rice always seems like a likable everyman to me, and this film is no exception. While Harmony is kind of a sad-sack and even a bit of a loser, Rice makes him sympathetic. I especially felt this sympathy towards the end of the movie in two key scenes — a wedding and a funeral. Both are hilarious, but the key moment for me is when Harmony sings in during the wedding, a moment in which we see that he isn’t just a sad loser — he has real talent.
My favorite scene in the film is the wedding reception. Here’s part of the scene:
First off, this is a great song. I’ve already downloaded it, and it’s going to be my song of the week. Second, I love the transition from the “lesson” to the reception. And third, the singer’s flirting with the pregnant bride is hilarious!
This last point illustrates another aspect of the movie I like. Harmony is surrounded by friends and family. I like that Bob Byington, the film’s writer-director, casts most of these surrounding characters as oddities, making Harmony look more sane and normal. The singer’s hitting on the pregnant bride is a good example. Harmony would never do something like this, though he does do some crazy things — like his speech at a funeral in which he says what he actually thinks about the deceased!
Finally, I also like where this movie ends up. I think it’s an optimistic ending. While Harmony is back where he started as far as being employed goes, he’s over his ex and seems generally happy in life. It’s a good comic ending, in other words.
Harmony and Me is a funny, interesting movie. I highly recommend it.